Thursday, December 08, 2016

Monkees "Good Times! Plus!" (2016 RSDBF EP)

Later the same year of the release of the Monkees reunion album Good Times!, a 10-inch vinyl EP titled Good Times! Plus! was released on Record Store Day Black Friday 2016. Pressed in red translucent vinyl and limited to 2,500 copies, the EP collected four tracks which previously appeared as bonus tracks on various editions of the full-length album.

The two tracks on Side One were bonus tracks on digital versions of the album, both produced by Adam Schlesinger from Fountains Of Wayne. "Terrifying", written by Zach Rogue of the indie-pop band Rogue Wave, is an innocent pop song sung by Micky Dolenz, about the scary feeling of being in love. Although Dolenz is now in his 70’s, he can still convincingly sing from the point of view of a man who is “feeling like a schoolboy”. Notably, this is the only song on the EP that all three surviving Monkees (Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith) played on.

"Me & Magdalena (Version 2)" is an alternate take of an album track written by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. The version on the album is a gentle piano-based ballad sung by Nesmith and Dolenz. The version on this EP has a faster tempo and is propelled by a jangly guitar, giving it a more buoyant power-pop vibe. If the album version sounds like the Monkees doing Death Cab, Version 2 sounds more like the Monkees doing R.E.M.

On Side Two, the EP contains "A Better World", which appeared as a bonus track on the versions of the full-length CD sold at Barnes & Noble and FYE stores. Sung by Peter Tork and written by Nick Thorkelson (Tork’s graphic-artist brother), the ballad’s lyrics are reminiscent of ‘60’s protest songs. The laid-back string arrangement is also reminiscent of that time period, although the production (by Tork and Andrew Sandoval) gives the song a modern-enough feel.

Finally, Good Times! Plus! ends with "Love's What I Want", a bonus track from the Japanese CD as well as the Barnes & Noble version. Written by XTC’s Andy Partridge, and produced by Sandoval, this song resembles many of the classic Monkees hits that were sung by Dolenz, although (like “A Better World”) it does have serious overtones.


The Monkees - Good Times! Plus!

The Monkees “Good Times! Plus!” EP (Rhino R1 557113 ) 2016

Track Listing:

1. Terrifying
2. Me & Magdalena (Version 2)
3. A Better World
4. Love's What I Want

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